bookmark_borderTips From A Pro Camera Operator

Utilizing One Camera Versus Multiple Cameras in Your Video Production

When shooting a new video project, one of the first decisions made is whether it will be multi-cam or single cam. Both strategies have their benefits depending on situation and context: multi-cam offers the freedom to switch between multiple points of view in a single setting, while single cam creates a more cinematic feel. By identifying your needs and your desired end product, you should be able to determine whether multi-cam or single cam is right for your project.

Multi-Cam Shooting: Fast, Affordable and Simple

Multi-cam shooting is often used for event coverage, interviews and other live events. In a multi-cam setup, two or more cameras are placed throughout a set. In the case of an event, cameras may even be in separate rooms. The end result is that the video can switch between these different perspectives throughout the process of recording. In an interview, a multi-cam setup may be used to switch the focus between speakers. In event coverage, a multi-cam setup may be used to switch between different perspectives of the same event

Shooting with multiple cameras is usually less expensive than shooting on a single camera. The shooting can be done quickly because the cameras do not need to be moved or positioned throughout recording, and it eliminates the need for multiple takes to capture a scene from a different angle. However, shooting with multiple cameras can also be seen as restrictive, because the set needs to be positioned and created to accommodate them. As an example, one might look towards sitcoms which have a multi-cam setup. Commonly, an apartment or house is only viewed from a specific angle. It can only be viewed from that angle because there is no wall there — just a camera.

Multi-cam shooting lends itself particularly well to live event coverage. A good example of a multi-cam shooting would be at a sports event. It would be prohibitively difficult to shoot a live event with a single camera, as it would be impossible to know when a recordable event was occurring. With a multi-cam setup, the entirety of a live event is recorded and the data can then be worked through in post-production.

Single Cam Shooting: Cinematic, Controlled and Clean

Single cam shooting is most often used for commercials, promotional videos, training lessons and other similar media. When a person thinks of a movie rather than a television sitcom, they are usually comparing single cam with multi-cam. In a single cam setup, one (or occasionally two) cameras are positioned for each scene, but they are not installed permanently within the environment. Single cameras often move during shooting, with the use of dollies and tracking devices, and provide a more cinematic feel to the resulting video. Movies, dramatic television shows, commercials and music videos almost always use single camera shooting rather than multi-cam shooting.

FILM GLOSSARY

AERIAL SHOT: An exterior shot taken from a plane, crane, helicopter or any other very high position. Also referred to as a BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

ANIMATION: A form of filmmaking which consists of photographing individual drawings (cels) or inanimate objects (such as puppets or clay figures) FRAME by frame, with each frame differing slightly from the one before. When the images are projected at 24 frames per second, they appear to move (or are animated)

ASPECT RATIO: The ratio of the projected image’s width to its height. The standard for Hollywood theatrical releases is 1.65:1. Shapes may vary, from the television standard, a nearly square ratio of 1.33:1 to a very long rectangle. In the l95Os, Hollywood attempted to attract new audiences by developing various kinds of widescreen systems, such as CinemaScope and Cinerama, which average 2.35:1. The European ratio is 1.66:1.

ASYNCHRONISM: A disparity between what is seen and what is heard. At its extreme, asynchronous sound is contrapuntal; that is, the sound contrasts with the image. For example, you see a train arriving while you hear a bird chirping. Contrapuntal or asynchronous sound was supported by Sergei Eisenstein as part of his larger theory of dialectical montage.

AXIS OF ACTION: In CONTINUITY EDITING, the imaginary line that passes from side to side through the main actors, defining the spatial relations of the scene. The camera is not supposed to cross the axis at a cut and reverse the spatial relations. Ensures constant screen space and constant screen direction. A term used in film production more than as a term in film analysis.

CAMERA MOVEMENTS:

CRANE SHOT: A HIGH ANGLE, moving shot photographed from a crane (a mechanical arm which carries both camera and camera operators).

DOLLY, TRUCKING, OR TRACKING SHOT: A shot taken from a moving dolly (a platform on a set of wheels). when the camera moves towards the subject, it is a “dolly in.0 when it moves away from the subject, it is a “dolly back” or a “dolly out.0 With the use of Steadicams and other mobile cameras, a moving camera may not be mounted on a dolly in order to achieve the same smooth effect. one of the early effective uses of the Steadicam is in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, where the camera follows characters through the maze of the hotel.

PAN: A shot taken when the camera stays in one place (on a tripod, for example) but rotates or swivels horizontally. compare DOLLY SHOT, in which the camera moves bodily from one place to another.

SWISH PAN: A rapid pan that results in a blurred image. It usually begins and ends at rest.

TILT: A shot taken when the camera stays in one place (on a tripod, for example) but rotates or swivels vertically.

Who owns the footage?

I’ve been acting in a collaborative TV Pilot in which everyone gave their time and talent for no pay. Now the writer has had a major falling out with the producers and is telling them thay can’t use any of the footage shot. There were no contracts signed between any parties, and the producers made it very clear they are a start-up, so don’t have any money. Can the writer derail the whole thing in this way?

The footage itself belongs to the producers, the right to the content of the footage will be harder to determine. It’s a pilot, won’t be exhibited, and if the writer is no longer on board the series can’t be commissioned on his work anyway. Can you resolve the dispute with the writer ? If not, learn from it and get agreements in place next time. The legal ins and outs are largely moot if you haven’t got money to sue/defend over a pilot, get a new writer, there are many.

The actual tapes belong to who paid for them – which I presume is the production company. There is a myth amongst cameramen that they by default they hold the copyright to the footage they shoot, which is mostly untrue. By default, copyright is vested in the director and producer and they need to assign or licence that copyright for the footage to be useable.

If the the footage is based on a piece of writing then there is an underlying copyright in the screenplay. Without a release, I’m afraid what’s been shot is not useable in a commercial way (and probably in non-commercial ways too) without the writer signing a contract

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 does indeed attribute default copyright for the finished film (as a single entity) but that does not confer Copryright ownership of the component parts.

TIPS FOR VIDEO TECHNICAL DIRECTING IN A LIVE CHURCH PRODUCTION

I do a lot of technical directing in my church’s productions. I also have the privilege of teaching newer directors the basics of directing. I figured I would share the main tips that I teach all my new new directors. This article is great for new directors, and also good for experienced directors who just like to read random people’s rambling articles.

tips for Video Technical Directing in a live church production

When working in a live church production, there are many roles required to pull everything off. One of the most important roles in the video department is that of the technical director. The technical director is the person calling shots and putting up the camera feeds on the big screen. They’re kind of a big deal, so it’s very important that the director is trained and always on-point with the flow of the service.

The point of a live video production is to convey the worship atmosphere to anyone watching the video. The viewer needs to feel like they are part of the live congregation and get a similar worship experience. So, how do you, the director, accomplish that?

Always be thinking ahead.

It is your job to know what is happening before it happens.

This is one of the most important and obvious things that a director needs to know. As the director, it is your job to know what is happening before it happens. If there is a solo coming up, you need to have a camera ready on the soloist BEFORE they start the solo. If someone is about to speak from stage-left, get a camera on them BEFORE they start speaking. You need to always be one step ahead and think about where your cameras need to be to capture the moment.

Be specific.

What does this mean? Here is an example: you’re directing and you see a guitar solo coming up after this chorus, and you know you need a guitar shot. Most new directors just naturally say, “Somebody get the guitar.” Then, every camera gets the same guitar shot. Now, all of your cameras are redundant and not usable.

LIGHTING ASSISTANT

AN OVERVIEW OF THE ELECTRICAL DEPARTMENT

The Electrical Department provides the lighting for any production that wants to use more than natural available light. The department works closely with the Director of Photography in order to fulfil his/her creative vision for the production’s lighting. The electrical department also works closely with lighting companies, who usually supply equipment for commercials, film and TV productions. The Electrical department safely rig and set lighting in line with the Director of Photography’s plan and then de-rig the equipment before returning it to the lighting company.

Head of the Electrical Department is the Gaffer. The Director of Photography (DOP) or Camera Operator (on small scale productions) head up the Camera Department. The DOP is in charge of the overall look of the production. The Gaffer (also know as Lighting Director) is responsible for designing and executing the lighting plan. They will provide the power needed for for the lights, and work with the Grip to shape the light.

Once a DOP has chosen their prefered Gaffer, he/she will come on board in preproduction and attend prep and production meetings. Sometimes the grip and electric departments will be given a couple of days or even weeks of prep for a project. This time is needed to do several things that will make life easier while on the project. On a high end TV drama production – this time is used to read the script, watch any look references supplied by the DOP, discuss the lighting approach, equipment needed and schedule.

The Gaffer will work on equipment lists which are analysed by the Production Manager/Co-ordinator who try to make everything on the list a reality by liaising with lighting companies to get the best deal on the kit list. If the shoot involves a lot of lighting, the kit will include a generator (genny) and a large truck to transport everything to the shoot location. Any electrician tasked with driving a truck or genny needs to have a HGV licence – and liaise with the Location Manager in advance of travel in case they need to check the weight-bearing capacity of any bridges on route.

The fully assembled Electrical Department are present through principal photography and they use a range of equipment, a lot of which is rather cumbersome and bulky. Lighting equipment may include HMI, Tungsten, Fluorescent, and a menagerie of stands, scaffolding and accessories to support these different lighting options. High budget Dramas sometimes require lighting balloons (large inflatable lights which shed a soft overall light – great for ballroom and courtroom scenes). The team may be required to build a ‘tent’ around a doorway using scaffolding and blackout drapes – if you’re shooting a night scene during the day. 

bookmark_borderAdvantages Of Using Photo Booth In Parties

Tips For Choosing A Photobooth For Your Event

When planning events, it’s so important to give your guests something memorable from the event. Albeit an experience or something they can take with them, the gesture goes a long way. If you choose to go with the option of hiring a photobooth for your event, you can offer your guests free prints of the photos they are taking.

Location Is Everything

If you’re booking your event venue knowing you’ll have a photo booth there, be sure to choose a venue that’ll be big enough for the booth to set up. If this is something you have decided after you have made a booking, the standard size of the booths are around 3m x 3m. This again will be dependent on the type of photo booth you select.

Choosing The Type Of Photo Booth

Thanks to the many technological advancements, the way we know photobooths have changed! As there is now a large variety of photo booths, the technology can be adapted to fit the shell of the photo booth.

Choosing Your Photo Booth Backdrop

Surprisingly enough, the backdrop is an important consideration to bare in mind when deciding on where you’ll be setting the photo booth up. You can choose if you want a backdrop with a custom background, an open air backdrop with the view in the background, or if you prefer the booth to be enclosed.

Will Guests Be Standing or Sitting

This links very closely to where you set up your photobooth and how much space is available. To ensure a much smoother transition between each picture, having your guests stand when they take their picture is recommended. You can give guests the option to sit just as long as they’re a smaller group, and are willing not to use as many props. That way you’ll avoid any sort of injury!

THE NEXT GENERATION OF PHOTO BOOTHS HAVE THEIR SIGHTS SET ON YOU

A machine named Queso wants me to pose like a spy. A short video shows three people making finger guns, backs against one another, and even though I feel awkward doing this alone in the middle of a Las Vegas convention show floor, I oblige. Next, Queso says to pretend like I’m thinking, and I’m beginning to understand why this photo booth was named after cheese. Finally, it tells me to jump around. I hop a few times until Queso floods me with light for the final time. Then I quickly gather my things and move behind the machine to retrieve a copy of my pictures.

But there is no printout — yet again. I came to the fifth annual Photo Booth Expo hoping to go home with a comically large pile of selfies, but none of the 40-something exhibiting photo booths have printed out anything. Instead, they’re offering to email or text links to the photos for easy online sharing

This is the state of photo booths in 2019. What was once on a highway to extinction has been reborn as an Instagram machine, transforming the humble self-portrait into theatrical displays for social media currency. While the machines pander to the young demographic that loves these experiences the most, they’re also monetizing a valuable asset in exchange: their data.

To photo booth operators, there are two types of customers, says Brandon Wong, founder of Photobooth Supply Co. (PBSCO). First, there is the birthday, wedding, and anniversary party crowd, which are the types of events that make people want to take home a souvenir. “Everyone’s already dressed up, looks great, and wants a fantastic picture to hang up,” Wong says.

The photo booth’s modern revival roots back to 2010, the same year that both the iPad and Instagram were born. Event photographers could now build smaller, cheaper photo booths that relied on the tablet and then email the photos to customers instead of having full-sized cameras and photochemical solutions. All the while, Instagram encouraged people to think of their online counterpart as a visual homepage that’s filled with unique photos that presented them as their most interesting, beautiful selves

Tips to Survive a DIY Photo Booth Experience

Most everyone has probably been to some type of event that had a photo booth set up for the guests.  Photo booths seem to have gained a lot in popularity, especially at weddings, but you may see them at birthday or retirement parties, or a variety of other gatherings.  They can be lots of fun and offer little pressure to those being photographed.  Even those who generally don’t like sitting in front of a camera will often break out of their shell, garner a few props, and take a few silly photos.  Not only is it a fun experience that will leave some fond memories, but the resulting photos can be a valuable keepsake for the guests who get involved as well as the event’s honorees.

Recently, I was asked if I could set up a photo booth at a big surprise going-away party.  This wasn’t a paid gig, but rather a favor for friends and something I wanted to try out.  After all, it’s just a matter of setting up a camera, a light or two, and letting people take pictures of themselves. Pretty simple, right?  Well, there is a bit more to it than that, so I took to the internet to learn what I could about setting up a photo booth.  What I found was information that was either over-simplified, using a point-and-shoot camera and maybe a flash, or a much more complicated system utilizing a full enclosure and lots of fancy (and expensive) gear that I don’t have.  I knew that there had to be something in between, that would provide some decent images with good lighting, without being overly complex and expensive to set up.  That’s what I set out to do and this article provides some of the things I learned along the way. Note that this article does not deal with the business side, such as how much to charge for your photo booth, insurance needs, or contracts, but rather the gear that is necessary and how to set it up.  So, let’s get started!

Scout the Location

As with most types of photography, but especially where portraits of people are involved, it’s a good idea to scout out the location of the shoot to get a ‘lay of the land’.  There are a few things to look for on these reconnaissance missions that will help you prepare your gear and to make sure you have everything you need when the shoot starts.  This will help to increase your confidence level and also help to remove some of the variables so that you can focus on providing the best experience possible.  For my particular experience, the event was being held in a location that I was familiar with, so I already had some idea of what to expect.  However, it was still a good idea to set up several hours in advance to determine the best layout for the photo booth in relation to how the venue was arranged and the activities that were going to take place.  Additionally, it is important to figure out the location of the nearest electrical outlets to plug in chargers, battery packs, lighting, or your laptop.  As they say, if you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail.  So don’t skimp on this part

Safety First!

OK, so it is Tip #2, but safety should always be paramount, especially when we are photographing people, and particularly for a photo booth, because there is lots of activity, with people coming and going.  Be sure to eliminate or at least minimize any tripping hazards, such as cables, extension cords, tripod or light stand legs, etc.  If anything is left unsecured, there is a chance it could take a tumble if it gets bumped or someone catches a foot on it in all the excitement.  I learned this the hard way.  Within 10 minutes of opening my photo booth, one of my light stands ended up lying on the floor, mangling the brand new umbrella that was attached.  Thankfully, no one was hit and the umbrella was still functional after a little ‘persuasion’, but this could have been avoided. Since the light stand will be top-heavy, consider using sand bags to add some weight to the bottom.  If possible, even consider attaching the legs of the stands to the floor, possibly with duct tape. Make sure that all cables and cords are secured with cable ties and routed in areas where there will not be any foot traffic.  After setting up the photo booth, make a precursory run through it and check for anything that could be a potential problem and deal with it then.  Make sure to make getting in and out of the photo booth as easy as possible, with plenty of space between the flow of traffic and your gear

Establish Some Rules

This one kind of goes along with the previous tip.  A photo booth will generally consist of lots of photography gear, including your camera, tripod, and lighting setup.  People will be in and out of the photo booth all evening, so you want to be sure that equipment stays just as safe as the guests.  Unless you plan to closely monitor the photo booth (and even if you do), it’s a good idea to set some rules beforehand.  This is particularly applicable if there will be a lot of kids at the event.  In all of the busy-ness, it can be difficult to keep track of everything that is going on and what each person is doing.  It’s a good idea to ask that all children 10 years old and younger be accompanied by an adult.  We all know that kids can be quite curious and may wonder about what all those buttons on the camera do.  The last thing you would want is for a young bundle of energy to get up close and personal with your gear.

Why rent a photo booth

Having a photo booth at your event will be the ultimate hit and life of the party! Our photo booth provides a very unique and entertaining experience that everyone will enjoy from the moment they arrive. Just like many of our customers say “the least expensive and the best part of our event”.

What makes your Photobooth stand apart from your competitors?

We are Wedding and Events Photographers. As Photographers we want the best picture quality and prints coming out of our booths, we used top notch real professional Full Frame Cameras, not consumer cameras, real Professional grade lenses and lighting to insure the best picture possible. Also, our booths have video mode and is available in most of our packages. We also have a variety of Professional Modern Backgrounds for you to choose from. We do our best to make sure your photos leave a lasting impression. Oh and let’s not forget about our props! We have the most fun props and props/signs! That’s how we stand out of the competition.

How does it work?

Just get in, You will be in front of a large 21-23″ Screen with live view,  touch the screen to select Color or Black & White, Push Start for Photos smile and the booth will do the rest! Images will be displayed on the monitor inside the booth, 10 seconds later the pictures are printed and available outside the photo booth. (The options vary with the model of the booth.) Or Push Start Video wait for the countdown and start saying your Message when you see the green bar. An Attendant will always be on site to guide you through!

Can I view My photo before it prints??

Yes, there is an option that requires you to confirm the photos if you are happy you hit Print if not you hit Re-Take, it is convinient but is not recommended as it will slow the line. If it Prints Automatically it will have the line moving much faster.

How long does it take to get a photo printed?

It takes about 10 seconds for the photo to be processed and printed. It’s super fast!

Choose the Best Photo Booth for Your Event

Adding a few surprises to your event is a great way to help guests break the ice, loosen up and get into the spirit of the day or night, whatever your intended outcomes. An excellent choice is photo booths, and there lots of different ways you can use them to help everyone have fun

Your Venue

Choosing the right event products is about finding the best setup for the space you have, so look at your venue and party area before selecting a photo booth. If you have limited space, for example, many think that a photo booth isn’t an option at all. However, you could consider a social media pod where lack of space is an issue. This has the same effect as the magic selfie mirror but is more versatile because it doesn’t require as much room, is easier to use and no host is required, as well as being cheaper which is always a bonus

Your Event Purpose

The type of event you’re hosting should influence the types of product you select, helping you to meet the aims of the day or night and ensure everyone has a good time. You can even combine photo booths with props the reflect and enhance your event theme. If you’re planning a product launch or corporate event, for example, social media pods are a great way to spread brand awareness online. On the other hand, the most up to date photo booths will have in-built Green Screen technology to help you create different themes and backgrounds. Equally, if the purpose of the event is for having a good time and celebrating, such as a wedding or Christmas party, magic selfie mirrors are a really fun and interactive choice.

Your Guests

How much thought you put into the guest experience is something which is going to define how they remember your event, so choosing products based on the mixture of people you have coming is always a smart move. For example, if you have a diverse range of age groups attending (especially at weddings and family parties), a traditional photo booth is often the best choice as it means young guests can reach the camera and older generations may feel less shy when in an enclosed booth, helping to get everyone involved. However, magic selfie mirrors are perfect for full length and wider shots, which is great if you have a lot of people who’ll want to show off their outfits or larger groups are involved.

bookmark_borderSpeed Dome Cameras And Their Camera Operator

Tips for Shooting Live Stage Events

Thinking about shooting a live event? Here are 14 things you need to remember.

For videographers, a live event can be an exhilarating experience that pushes you outside of your creative comfort bubble… but if you’re not careful, a seemingly insignificant technical error can ruin the entire video. Don’t let this happen to you! Here are 14 tips for shooting your next big live event.

Pick a Style

Before you shoot a live stage event, do some research into what you want the look and feel of your video to be like.

TED-itional Tripod

While they may be the most popular lecture series in the world, TED talks are surprisingly simple when it comes to shooting style. Most TED talks consist of a few cameras on tripods with a master camera. It’s all pretty stationary, which is not a bad thing.

Mixed Shoot

Most modern live events consist of a mixture of tripods, shoulder rigs, cranes, and sliders. These events can become incredibly complicated to edit in post (or direct live). But when done well, a mixed-camera shoot can bring a lot of life to an otherwise boring event.

Cinematic Highlight Video

Sometimes your client will only want a “highlight reel” of the live event and not the entire event itself. This is your opportunity as videographer/filmmaker to show off your cinematography skills. Good event highlight videos will feature complex movements. It’s also more common to see highlight videos shot on DSLRs instead of more traditional video cameras.

Multi-Camera Direction Tips for Properly Shooting Live Events

Running a multi-camera shoot at a large outdoor event can be tricky. Here are a few tips to keep the operation running smoothly.

So you make it to your nearest arena to see your favorite band. Great, except the talent themselves are the size of ants. This is where Image Magnification (or more widely known as IMAG) comes in. IMAG is now a staple for almost all large-scale concerts. In this article I’ll go over a few important tips of the trade for anyone getting ready to throw on a headset, hunker down behind a switcher, and direct a multi-camera show for a live concert.

You can always hide an army of robotic cameras around the stage to get specific shots. However, the majority of your show will come down to hiring two or three camera operators. Your first camera should always have the longest lens available, and it should sit on a tripod — dead center — inside front of house. The sole purpose of this camera is to follow the most important person on stage, which is usually the lead singer (if the band is not instrumental). The long lens camera should stay somewhere around the waist up, tight on the talent, following them wherever they may bounce to on stage. This camera can also do some long pulls or pushes, to/from the stage, but 99 percent of the time their job is to solely stick to the lead talent in the band.

If you only have two camera operators, the best placement for the next operator is on the downstage edge in the pit, directly in front of the stage. This camera’s purpose is to capture all of the action happening on stage. If a guitarist shreds a lead break or the drummer busts into a solo, this camera needs to immediately focus on that musician to capture these glorious moments.

If there is a third camera operator on the show, you can either put them in the pit for more coverage of the stage, or have them on stage with the band. (Note: you must first get permission from the stage/production manager, if you choose this route.) This camera position allows for some interesting angles that even the guests in the nicest seats would never see, allowing the camera the unique opportunity to become part of the production. This usually happens between songs, when the musicians decide to have a conversation with the camera. Not only does this lend the audience the illusion that, through the screens, they are having a personal moment with the musicians, but it also magnifies the visual aspects of the show for those in the nose-bleeds, while including them in the live experience.

As is true with editing video across most media, the two most-used transitions in your arsenal are the straight cut and the dissolve. If your camera operators are lacking video return, make sure to let them know if they have matching or similar shots. You need to avoid this on a straight cut, but especially on a dissolve because it creates the effect that the two matching images are melting together into an amorphous blob mid-transition, which, when displayed on massive screens, can be quite unpleasant.

Hiring an Event Videographer: How to Contract the Best Pro for Every Event

Videography is a lot like photography and other creative pursuits; everyone dabbles in it, but not everyone does it well. If you need to capture high-quality video of your next, a professional event videographer is worth the investment. Read on to discover the benefits of hiring a videographer rather than managing this essential task yourself, and learn what to look for in a pro event videographer

What is event videography?

Event videography is the process of recording a live-action event on digital media. Videography is similar to cinematography (the movie-making process), but it occurs outside of the motion picture production field.

The person who operates the camera is called a videographer. The videographer records footage of the event and edits the final product to produce a high-quality, engagement video segment. For social events, such as weddings, the video is shared with the couple and guests. For business or educational events, the video is used for websites, social media marketing, or online streaming videos

Do you need a professional videographer for your event?

You may think an event team member can capture ‘good-enough’ footage of the event on a smartphone. Or, you feel the event doesn’t merit the cost of a professional videographer.

But high-quality video documentation of corporate events, galas, speeches, and company parties is a great way to build your brand awareness and get people interested in what you do. If you plan to show your videos on YouTube (watched by 73 percent of adults in the US) or another social media platform, hiring a videographer is a must. These industry professionals produce polished, in-focus results that are well-framed, accurate representations of the event.

A Camera Operator’s Point Plan: Preparing for Live Streaming an Event

Clean Cut Media camera operator Jack Ross shares his 5 point plan about how he prepares for a live streaming event.

Speak to the Pre Production team: It is important to plan ahead so you can be prepared for any scenario that can arise when on site. The pre production team will have all the insights you need when planning what kit and equipment to take to the live streaming event as well as formulating a camera plan

Identify and source any specialised kit: Every live stream is unique and requires thought as to what equipment is required to best suit each job. We have various specialised equipment such as gimbles, sliders and backdrops. Clean Cut Media owns a range of the latest kit but occasionally, something unusual is called for, such as in this instance filming a fast paced racing event for Avon Tyres at Castle Combe Racecourse.

Prep and check: This includes making sure everything is fully charged and in working order before the shoot. This is part of your final checklist to ensure you have enough batteries, cards, microphones etc… as well as cleaning all camera sensors and lenses, especially if they have returned from a clay tournament.

Use protection: Our kit is flown all over the world and can often take a few knocks in transit. It is important to use the best possible cases and rucksacks to ensure your valuable kit is protected at all times. We use Pelican cases with laser cut foam inserts as well as Lowepro backpacks and Litepanels lighting cases to maintain the high quality of equipment we have.

Random Tips from a Professional Camera Operator

Teaching the craft of camera operating is extremely difficult to do well, so I’m going to do it half-assed and give you some random tips that may help you along in your career

My childhood dream was to be a camera operator. I wanted to be the person looking through the camera and framing a shot. While I would have enjoyed having a long career as an operator, I entered the business at a time when operators were a dying breed, and the only people guaranteed careers as operators were Steadicam operators. I wasn’t particularly interested in doing that, so I moved towards being a director of photography faster than I had expected. Most of the shoots I do don’t require, or won’t hire, an operator, so in a way I’m still a career operator. I just get to light the shots as well as operate them.

No one taught me how to be an operator. At a young age I found myself drawn to strong compositions in certain TV shows and movies, and I sought to emulate those compositions with my Regular 8mm film camera. Over time I learned, through trial and error and the occasional tip from those more experienced than I, how to move the camera predictably and repeatedly.

LEARN THE GEARED HEAD

I really enjoy working with geared heads, although I rarely get to use them anymore. Most of my projects can’t afford to rent one for me. Hopefully this will change with the advent of the Gearnex geared head, which I’ve now used on several shoots

The geared head offers an incredible amount of control over camera moves, especially dolly moves. For some reason it’s very easy to match pan and tilt speeds to a dolly move by spinning wheels rather than moving a pan handle around. The wheels also offer a wide range of possibilities from very subtle adjustments to aggressive camera moves that stop on a dime.